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BHS 252 - Modeling Systems of Life

BHS 252 Library Session Pre-Assignment

Searching – An Integral Part of the Research Process

  • Searching is more than just putting words in a search box.  It is an integral part of the research process, an opportunity to not only learn about a topic but also refine and define it.   Ideas can be affirmed and new doors opened and explored.

  • Searching can also be looked at as a problem that needs to be solved.  Whether it is finding information for a paper, researching points to defend an argument, or the literature review for your class assignment, you have a basic “problem” that you want to solve.  
  • To solve information type problems, you use search tools.  At Wheaton, Web of Science [WOS] is the best tool to use to search biology topics.  Using the WOS will allow you to search BIOSIS, MEDLINE, and Science Citation Index simultaneously. 

1. Take the "Guide on the Side" interactive tutorial answering the questions when prompted. This is due no later than Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

  • The interactive assignment will take you 30-45 minutes to complete.  Plan a time when you can do this assignment from start to finish.  Your answers will not be saved if you leave the interactive assignment before receiving the certificate of completion when you are finished.  If you leave, you will have to start from the beginning again. 
  • If you are a Mac user, please do not use Safari to complete the interactive assignment.  Alternative browsers are Crome or FireFox.  
  • You will be doing an actual search in Web of Science.  Use this time to explore or define your topic.
  • Please take the time to reflect and answer the last 2 questions in the assignment.  This will help inform the content of the library session.  

2. Install Zotero following the Installing Zotero and Setting Preferences instructions, if it is not already installed on your computer.

  • If you have Zotero already installed, make sure you have “Set Your Zotero Preferences,” found on the installation instruction sheet.  
  • Make sure you are running Zotero 5.0 or higher.  If not, please upgrade. See

Need assistance?  Contact Megan Ruenz email: